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Entries in Esmail Kowsari (10)


Iran Today: Regime Attacks Rafsanjani as "Leader of Sedition"

Election Watch: Teachers Urge Rafsanjani to Run.

An assembly of reformist-aligned teachers and researchers has issued a statement condemning recent “insults” of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami and urged the two former presidents to accept the invitation of the people and run for office in June’s election.

Economy Watch: Ahmadinejad Under Fire.

President Ahmadinejad has come under more criticism today, this time by Grand Ayatollah Musavi Aradabilli who told a meeting of labour leaders that if the government follows the same policies as the present one, the country’s economic condition will only worsen.

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Iran Live Coverage: Banging the Drum Against the US

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Ahmadinejad in Egypt to "Tribal Voices" in Tehran
Friday's Iran Live Coverage: Supreme Leader to His Officials "Stop Your Temper Tantrums"

2055 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Activists claim that dozens of Arab youths have been detained in Ahvaz.

One activist said more than 50 men were seized. Family members said they were in an unknown location.

1335 GMT: US-Iran Watch. The first half of this Al Jazeera English discussion on US-Iran relations and the nuclear issue is wasted, with a failure to get to grips with the context, motives, and significance of the Supreme Leader's speech on Thursday. However, there is some value in the second, with former Administration official John Limbert and analyst Ali Reza Eshraghi --- overcoming the pro-regime platitudes of Flynt Leverett --- offering some insight into the complexities hindering negotiations between Washington and Tehran.

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Turkey Live Coverage (9 April): Strong Language and Diplomacy Over Syria, Iran, and Kurdistan

1840 GMT: Co-chairman of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selahattin Demirtas says:

If Prime Minister wants to talk about the Kurdish problem, he can talk anything with BDP, including education in mother language, the new constitution, constitutional citizenship and legal amendments. 

However, Prime Minister's problem has nothing to with Kurdish people's rights and freedom. Prime Minister always wants to talk about the armed conflict. The problem in his head is only the problem of arms.

1825 GMT: Turkey's famous columnist Nuray Mert writes about Ankara's plans on the Kurdish issue within the context of the Syrian crisis. Mert agrees with our snap analysis so far, arguing that Ankara is paying attention to the structure of the Syrian opposition due to its fear of facing a stronger Kurdish presence in Syria.

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The Latest from Iran (8 April): We Love Nuclear Talks, We Love Them Not

See also Iran Propaganda Special: US Intelligence "Trust Us --- We Know Everything"
The Latest from Iran (7 April): Nuclear Confusion

2113 GMT: Picture of the Day. The Supreme Leader with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hashemi Rafsanjani after Ayatollah Khamenei and the President joined today's meeting of the Expediency Council:

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The Latest from Iran (10 December): After the Drone Show

See also Iran Analysis: Will the European Union Ban Imports of Tehran's Oil? (Probably.)
The Latest from Iran (9 December): The Return of the Hidden Drone

2110 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, detained in September, has been released from prison.

Mirtahmasb was one of six directors seized on charges that they worked for BBC Persian.

1630 GMT: Surveillance Watch. Huawei Technologies, a leading Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, has said on its website that it will voluntarily restrict business in Iran because of the “increasingly complex situation” there.

Huawei declared it will not seek new customers will limit business activities with existing clients.

The company did not give a reason for the the pull-back but it has come under pressure on the Internet for the potential use of its technology for repression.

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The Latest from Iran (7 December): Rallying the Students

See also Iran Video Feature: On National Students Day, A Tribute to Detained Activist Bahareh Hedayat
Iran Follow-Up: Why is US Playing Crash-and-Tell Over Its Drone?
The Latest from Iran (6 December): The Drone Mystery

Majid Tavakoli2355 GMT: Media Watch. Press TV, the English-language Iranian media outlet operating out of the UK has been fined £100,000 by OfCom, the British communications regulatory body, for "breaches of the Broadcasting Code" and ordered to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on its service.

Press TV appears to have complied with the broadcasting of the OfCom finding by posting an article on its site claiming that OfCom has contradicted itself:

The regulator announced that Press TV is required to pay a 100,000-pound fine and “broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on its service Press TV.”

This is while Ofcom had previously stated that it would not direct Press TV to broadcast a summary of its findings, requiring the English-language channel to only pay the fine. The summary is as follows:

“Ofcom found that Press TV presentation of the interview of Mr. [Maziar] Bahari in the news item was unfair because it missed out important facts, for example that the interview was conducted under duress whilst Mr. Bahari was being held in a prison in Tehran.”

“Also the interview was broadcast in a context in which inferences adverse to Mr. Bahari could be drawn. Press TV did not obtain Mr. Bahari consent to the interview.”

“Ofcom also found that the filming and broadcast of the interview without Mr. Bahari's consent while he was in a sensitive vulnerable situation was an unwarranted infringement of his privacy.

“As a result Ofcom has fined Press TV 100,000 pounds and directed it to broadcast this summary.”

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Iran Latest: Students Storm British Embassy

Claimed video of the Basij student rally and the start of the assault on the British Embassy

UPDATE 2104 GMT: Footage from Iran State outlet Press TV of the attack:

UPDATE 2051 GMT: Some additional information about the afternoon's events....

Claimed video of the Basij student rally and the start of the assault on the British Embassy

UPDATE 2104 GMT: Footage from Iran State outlet Press TV of the attack:

UPDATE 2051 GMT: Some additional information about the afternoon's events....

Iranian media reports that Iran Deputy Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan entered the embassy at one point and gave an ultimatum to the occupiers to leave, as the occupiers demanded an end to Iranian relations with Britain. Fars also claims that police resorted to force, beating some protesters.

And in one of the more unusual statements of the day, Tehran Provincial Governor Morteza Tamaddon, who appeared at the Embassy at one point, said that it was functioning normally.

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The Latest from Iran (5 November): You're A Terrorist --- No, You Are...

See also Iran Website Special: The Basij Militia's "Wall Street Fall"
The Latest from Iran (4 November): Ahmadinejad Punches Back

1445 GMT: Hype Watch. Yet another spin effort by unnamed "diplomats" to international media ahead of next week's release of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear programme....

The Associated Press is the chosen outlet to declare findings of "computer models of a nuclear warhead and other previously undisclosed details on alleged secret work", including "satellite imagery of...a large steel container used for nuclear arms-related high explosives tests".

AP reports, without critique, that "the newest compilation of suspected weapons-related work is significant in substance and scope".

1434 GMT: The Plot. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has again denounced the US claim of an Iran-backed plan to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington. He reiterated that Gholam Shakuri, the Iranian military official who is at the heart of the allegations, is actually a member of the insurgent group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO).

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The Latest from Iran (12 September): The Nuclear Front

2105 GMT: The Battle Within. Yasaman Baji offers an overview of the political tensions as conservative and principlist factions vie for position:

Intense competition among different wings of forces claiming absolute loyalty to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has created a muddled political environment, making it difficult to speculate about the direction of the country after the term of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expires in 2013.

The March elections to the Majlis could be a bellwether. In the past, parliamentary elections held right before the president's second term is over have been significant in hinting the future direction the country under the next president.

Today, increasingly acrimonious competition among devoted supporters of the Islamic Republic, known as Principlists, has the country wondering about whether there are plans to continue the country's hard-line direction without Ahmadinejad or whether instead the more- moderate conservative elements within the Principlist camp will take the reins and steer the country in a more centrist direction.

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The Latest from Iran (17 April): Making Claims

2130 GMT: Press Watch (IRNA Edition). In a day of curious stories, the tale of the detained journalist --- an employee of Iranian state media --- has another twist....

IRNA reports that Manouchehr Tamari was arrested by “six unidentified individuals” in Sananda, who "inspected Tamir’s home and confiscated his computer and laptop without providing any IDs”.

IRNA adds, “In recent weeks, following reports of terrorist operations in Sanandaj, the director and reporter of IRNA was summoned to the Kurdistan intelligence office and ordered to refrain from covering news regarding terrorist operations in the province.” The State media outlet said this order was rejected since it is in “contradiction of the inherent mission of the Islamic Republic News Agency".

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